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The UK government has announced a new £3 million fund aimed at encouraging research into the detection of concealed explosive devices at airport screening.
The Department for Transport said it was looking to “revolutionise aviation screening”, with the hope that travellers "could be spared the hassle of removing laptops and tablets from hand-luggage when passing through airport security”.
Copmanies and universities are invited to submit bid proposals for money to support “original research in the field of concealed explosives”, with the DfT stating that “new methods of detecting whether electrical items have been tampered with or appear irregular are also of interest”.
The government said that the proposals can focus on the screening of electrical items within bags at security screening areas, or on the use of portable technology to screen items “at other points in the passenger journey”.
Commenting on the fund security minister Ben Wallace said: “We need to embrace and encourage the talent from industry that will allow us to stay several steps ahead of those who wish us harm," while minister for aviation Lord Callanan said:
“The UK has always been at the forefront of research and development in the field of aviation security. The safety and security of the travelling public will always be our top priority but we understand that this can sometimes be inconvenient for passengers – especially families with young children. As technology improves we want to make the aviation experience quicker and easier for all holidaymakers.”
The fund is part of a wider initiative to “deliver a step change in aviation security”, through joint DfT and Home Office programme the Future Aviation Security Solutions.
More information on the fund can be found here.
In the United States the new TSA chief David Pekoske recently spoke of his desire to eliminate security lines, stating that they were in themselves “a security vulnerability”.